Hitler? He did many good things for Germany, starting with the extraordinary economic recovery of the 1930s. That Donald Trump has never had problems expressing appreciation even for far-right movements overtly undemocratic, if not downright subversive, from white supremacists to neo-Nazi marches in Virginia, it was well known. But that, albeit in private, he is engaged in discussions in which he defended Hitler’s historical role by rejecting peremptory condemnations of Nazism a novelty that emerges from one of the many upcoming books on the four years in the White House of the former Republican president: Frankly, We Did Win This Election (The truth that we won the election, at) of the journalist of the Wall Street Journal Michael Bender.
The author relates that Trump discussed this three years ago with John Kelly, then his chief of staff, during the trip to Europe to celebrate the centenary of the end of the First World War. Although Bender cites an anonymous source and specifies that Trump, when questioned about it, denied having talked about Hitler, evident that it was Kelly himself who told of a heated discussion in which to him, a former general who reminded him of the atrocities of Nazism, the president replied but Hitler pulled the Germans out of poverty. And he said he disagreed with Kelly himself who had concluded: Poverty is better than genocide.
The Guardian, who published the advances of Bender’s book, remembers that during that trip across the Atlantic, Trump was harshly criticized for clashes with European leaders on various fronts, including different conceptions of democracy, and for canceling a visit to an American war cemetery at the last minute of the Great War. The indiscretions of White House collaborators who reported hearing Trump call the war dead losers and suckers are from the same period. at).
Also here Trump denied, but clear enough from the testimony that the president made these claims in front of Kelly, who took it very personally since her son was killed in 2010 in Afghanistan. The former general left the White House slamming the door in 2019 after unsuccessfully trying to push Trump to behave more responsibly and respectfully of democratic institutions.
According to the new book, Kelly tried (always in vain) to get more respect from Trump for history as well. This is also not surprising: The Donald has always shown little regard for the history of slavery and segregation following its legal abolition. As for Hitler, the very uncritical judgment of Trump one could already guess from some of his appreciation for neo-Nazi demonstrations such as that of Virginia. The same Guardian remember then the German magazine Stern he dedicated a cover to him: Trump giving the fascist salute wrapped in the American flag.
July 7, 2021 (change July 7, 2021 | 10:45 am)
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